|Headquarters||Stamford, Connecticut, United States|
Paul M. English
|Key people||Steve Hafner (CEO)
Giorgos Zacharia (CTO)
|Revenue||US$ 292.7 million (2012)|
|Parent||The Priceline Group|
619 (August 2016)
|Launched||May 5, 2004
October 2004 (Public Beta)
February 7, 2005 (Public)
Kayak.com, sometimes styled as KAYAK, is a fare aggregator and travel metasearch engine operated by the The Priceline Group. Its products are available in 18 languages. The company also runs travel search engines checkfelix and swoodoo. Formerly a separate company, the KAYAK Software Corporation was acquired by The Priceline Group on May 21, 2013.
KAYAK was founded in 2004 by Steve Hafner and Paul M. English. Before KAYAK, Steve Hafner, KAYAK's current CEO, helped found Orbitz in November 1999 and led its business development, advertising sales, marketing, and product marketing activities. The company was originally incorporated in Delaware in 2004 under the name Travel Search Company, Inc. The name was later changed to Kayak Software Corporation in August 2004, and KAYAK Software Corporation in 2011.
Growth in the United States
In December 2007, KAYAK raised $196 million in a new round of financing from a group of investors, including General Catalyst Partners, Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, and Oak Investment Partners. Using that funding, KAYAK acquired SideStep, a competing US travel website.
On March 5, 2010, KAYAK sold certain assets related to the website www.travelpost.com and its travel information business to The New Travelco, Inc., a Delaware corporation, which subsequently changed its name to Travelpost, Inc.
In January 2011, KAYAK closed down SideStep and redirected SideStep traffic to KAYAK.com.
In May 2010, the swoodoo brand, a leading travel search platform in Germany, was acquired.
In April 2011, KAYAK acquired all of the outstanding shares of JaBo Vertrieb-und Entwicklung GmbH, or JaBo Software. JaBo Software operates checkfelix, a leading travel metasearch website in Austria.
KAYAK's website and mobile apps are currently available in over 18 languages and more than 30 local markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Belgium, Hong Kong and Singapore.
IPO and acquisition
On July 20, 2012 KAYAK officially went public, trading under the name KYAK. On its first day of trading, KAYAK opened up at $26 per share - higher than originally expected - and closed at $33.18 per share.
On November 8, 2012, it was announced that KAYAK was being acquired by The Priceline Group, then known as Priceline.com, for $1.8B, or $40 per KAYAK share. The acquisition closed on May 21, 2013, for $2.1B.
On September 25, 2013 it was announced that the State of Connecticut would assist KAYAK with a $2.5 million loan to help facilitate their move to the Harbor Point district of Stamford.
At The Webby Awards, KAYAK received the People’s Voice award in the travel website category in 2008, the Webby Award in the travel website category in 2009, the People’s Voice award in the mobile travel app category in 2011, and three more awards in 2012: both the Webby and People's Choice awards in the travel website category and the People's Voice award in the mobile travel app category. In 2013, KAYAK received a Webby Award for the Best Travel Mobile & App for Handheld Devices. In 2014, KAYAK won both the People's Voice and Webby Award in the Travel category for Tablets. In 2015, KAYAK Mobile won again the People's Voice in the Travel category of the Webbys.
The World Travel Awards presented KAYAK with the World's Leading Flight Comparison Website award in 2013 and the World's Leading Travel Search Website award in 2011.
All-American Muslim advertising
In December 2011 KAYAK announced that it would not renew a contract to advertise on the TLC reality television show All-American Muslim. The decision followed a campaign by the Florida Family Association, a one-man fundamentalist organization focused on "defending American values". KAYAK chief marketing officer Robert Birge wrote that TLC "was not upfront with us about the nature of the show" in an explanation posted to the KAYAK website.
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